Budgeting: Tips to properly spending your OSAP grant this fall

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By Melanie Nava Urribarri

Whilst walking through campus, there is something heavy in the air. Perhaps it’s the suffocating warmth of too many fast food kitchens intertwined with the cool breeze of a fast-approaching winter. That familiar beginning to the fall semester reminds me that I’ll soon have to budget how many pumpkin-spiced sweets I can afford. Just the thought gives me chills. So, when paycheques come rolling in and the OSAP grant money appears like a (consequential) beacon in the fog, it is that same air that inspires me to spend that grant as strategically as possible.

How do I spend a grant to extravagant perfection? You see, September is not only a month of new beginnings, but it also happens to be a month where every artist ever decides it’s the perfect time to have a concert, announce a new album, attend the premiere of their award-nominated short film—all of it. 

The 50 per cent strategy 

Spend around 50 per cent of your OSAP grant on events, like inflated resale tickets for The Weeknd. Life is too short to deny yourself the experience of fawning over people who will never know you exist. How can anyone concentrate on education with opportunities like these right in front of their eyes? This may be the last chance to feel any joy or liveliness, until after exam season that is.

Now Streaming: your feelings

Though the fall semester is a fresh academic start, the change in seasons brings about tears and even overwhelming heartbreak for many—depending on how summer went. As emotionally sensitive students, we should accept all our feelings without shame. We should also bury ourselves in the poetic cinema of Don’t Worry Darling and She-Hulk to escape our pain. Make life easier and buy all the streaming subscriptions. Never miss a show, never acknowledge a negative emotion and always fall behind on your millions of assigned readings. Rhaenyra from House of the Dragon says “Dracarys” in order to watch chaos arise, but all we have to do is press play. 

New bling, same you

Heirs in fiction and reality have their crowns to immortalize the start of their reign, so why shouldn’t we do the same? Luckily, with OSAP to financially support us through these trying times, this is now possible for us commoners. Tip three: use the government’s aid to make another life investment for inner healing and to begin another semester.  New jewellery and trinkets are always a must in order to truly shine. And in theory, wouldn’t it also help your education endeavours if you feel and look as fresh as possible? I think it most certainly would.  

Take me to flavour town

For the fourth and final tip—my personal favourite—a little bit of good judgement is needed. How you spend your money matters, but the way to one’s heart is the stomach. I get such a thrill from finding a new lavish restaurant in Toronto, getting dressed up and being able to smell the amount of money I’m—or, rather, the government is—about to spend. No more overpriced Uber Eats, it’s time to experience overpriced fine dining. For a real extravagant experience, try Don Alfonso 1890, Harbour 60 Toronto or Michael’s on Simcoe.

Walk into one of those restaurants and feel your whole world change the second you step foot inside the restaurant. Hear the clinking of expensive wine glasses, the chatter of people who live to consume (because they can afford it) and see the rich dazzle of the tiny servings that won’t fill you up but will certainly dig you deeper into debt.

In summary; invest, alleviate the stress and feed your delusions. Spoil yourself now before you’re too swamped to do it in exam season. Plus, you’ll need time to overwork yourself in order to pay the government your money back when that debt comes to haunt you.

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